McCarthy said he’d tell Trump to resign after Jan. 6. McConnell thought he’d be out, book reports

What Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Sen. Mitch McConnell said behind closed doors about President Trump’s involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection and what they said to his face were in complete opposition, according to a book set to hit shelves next month.  

This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future releases May 3, and with it will come a few surprises about the conversations key GOP members reportedly had about their leader.

The New York Times exclusively reports that not only did McCarthy and McConnell believe that Trump was directly responsible for the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, but they told other GOP lawmakers they intended to ask the president to resign. “I’ve had it with this guy,” McCarthy reportedly told a group of Republican leaders. Naturally, a spokesperson for McCarthy, Mark Bednar, denied to the Times that the congressman ever “said he’d call Trump to say he should resign.”

RELATED STORY: Can Kevin McCarthy be any more gutless? Yes, he can ‘forget’ what he said to Trump on Jan. 6

The book, co-written by Jonathan Martin and  Alexander Burns, two New York Times reporters, compiles interviews and records of hundreds of lawmakers and officials, according to the Times, and lays out a timeline where McCarthy and McConnell both lost their respective chutzpah—a great Yiddish word for nerve.

Listen Jennifer Fernandez Ancona from Way to Win explain what how Democrats must message to win on Daily Kos' The Brief podcast with Markos Moulitsas and Kerry Eleveld

According to the Times, before McCarthy’s spine dissolved, he reportedly suggested that several GOP lawmakers should be banned from social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook following the insurrection.

“We can’t put up with that,” McCarthy reportedly said. “Can’t they take their Twitter accounts away, too?”

Again, Bednar denied to the Times that Rep. McCarthy ever suggested any GOP leaders be banned from social media.

However, we know that McCarthy did publicly say in mid-January 2021 that Trump was at least partially responsible for the riot. "He told me personally that he does have some responsibility. I think a lot of people do."

Here's the audio of McCarthy saying Trump has responsibility for Jan. 6th and Trump admitted responsibility. He strongly urges a commission to investigate the attack. McCarthy said Thursday he didn't recall telling members Trump took responsibility.https://t.co/fsZYL5Q1ss pic.twitter.com/T7Rwb8Yd0n

— andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) January 14, 2022

McCarthy also blabbed about Trump to House Republicans during a private conference call on Jan. 11. CNN obtained a copy of a transcript of that call.

"Let me be clear to you, and I have been very clear to the President. He bears responsibility for his words and actions. No if, ands, or buts," McCarthy said. "I asked him personally today if he holds responsibility for what happened. If he feels bad about what happened. He told me he does have some responsibility for what happened. But he needs to acknowledge that."

But four days later, McCarthy conveniently forgot all that he’d said.

Here's McCarthy yesterday when asked directly if he told members on a 1/11/21 call about Trump taking responsibility. "I'm not sure what call you're talking, so....," pivots quickly to next question. pic.twitter.com/GeWQTs0FSs

— andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) January 14, 2022

According to the Times, McCarthy was told by Rep. Bill Johnson of Ohio that Trump supporters did not want their president challenged on Jan. 6 events.

“I’m just telling you that that’s the kind of thing that we’re dealing with, with our base,” Johnson said.

As a result, by the end of January and after seeing that a scant 10 House Republicans would support a Trump impeachment, McCarthy reversed course and stepped away from any condemnation of HerrTrump. He shut his mouth and kept his job as the House Minority Leader.

As for McConnell, theTimes reports that he initially believed Trump’s actions on Jan. 6 were so heinous that he was convinced his GOP colleagues would surely break with the president. He reportedly even predicted a conviction vote for Trump’s impeachment.

“The Democrats are going to take care of the son of a bitch for us,” he reportedly said during a Jan. 11 meeting with Terry Carmack and Scott Jennings, two of his advisors. “If this isn’t impeachable, I don’t know what is,” he reportedly said.

McConnell was so convincing in his ire against Trump, the Times reports, that Senators John Thune and Rob Portman privately said they believed he’d vote to convict Trump.

But as we all know, McConnell eventually voted to acquit Trump, despite following it with a blistering speech against the president.

Then, he too, shut his mouth to keep his job and the support of a failed, twice-impeached president and his millions of supporters.

Let’s talk about the Trump White House call logs from Jan. 6

Let’s talk about these call logs. 

At the top of this week, The Washington Post and CBS News reported that upon review of official phone logs from the Trump White House given to the Jan. 6 committee, a gap of over seven hours was discovered in then-President Donald Trump’s official daily diary and switchboard record from that day. 

In contrast, on Thursday, CNN reported that “an official review” of those logs—based on anonymous sources familiar with the matter, including a former Obama White House staffer—determined the records were “complete.”

The earlier reported gaps, the source told CNN, were likely due to Trump’s “typical” practice of having staff place calls for him on White House landline phones or using White House-provided cell phones or personal phones. Neither would be traced through the White House switchboard, meaning they would not appear on the log provided to the committee. 

So, what to make of all this? Are the Jan. 6 call logs complete or incomplete? What information is missing? Was there a cover-up?

In this heap of anonymously sourced reporting and analysis tied to the call logs, at least one fact can be safely established today, Friday, the 450th day since the attempted overthrow of the 2020 election: There is a huge amount of information about Trump’s exact conduct during the bloodshed and chaos of Jan. 6 that remains unknown and is in dire need of additional context.

The records published by The Washington Post and CBS cover 11 pages. Six of those pages are the “Presidential Call Log” while five comprise the “Daily Diary of President Donald J. Trump.”

White House Call Log Jan 6 2021 Obtained by WaPo and CBS by Daily Kos on Scribd

The diary will record a president’s movements on a given day. The call log shows call records incoming and outgoing from the White House switchboard or from aides. It will also list the length of a call and a small notation, perhaps, but scant else. 

Under law, both the logs and the diary must be preserved. 

The Trump administration was notoriously bad at maintaining records, and Trump’s penchant for using his cell phone or a staffer’s phone to make or take calls, regardless of how sensitive the subject matter was, is well documented

Recreating the timeline of Jan. 6 has been made more difficult by this, and the gaps in these particular logs raise major questions when compared against the record of Trump’s communication with high-ranking officials or allies before and during the attack.

For example, the logs omit a critical phone call that took place between Trump and then-Vice President Mike Pence that morning. There are also missing records of calls that happened between Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy as well as other Republican lawmakers like Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama and Sen. Mike Lee of Utah.

Those calls happened, and they have been corroborated through court records, committee testimony, or public statements made by those directly involved. To wit, Pence’s National Security Adviser Keith Kellogg testified to the committee that he heard Trump speak to Pence on the phone from the Oval Office on the morning of Jan. 6.

Kellogg said he heard Trump pressure the vice president to go along with the scheme to stop the peaceful transfer of power. Ivanka Trump was also present for that call.

Kellogg’s testimony was corroborated by other witnesses who appeared before the committee and heard the call as well. But there’s no record of that call on the switchboard, a fact that now raises questions over what device Trump used in that moment and why.  

RELATED STORY: Jan. 6 committee requests a meeting with Ivanka Trump

Handwritten notes attached to Trump’s private schedule for Jan. 6 show him having a call with “VPOTUS” at 11:20 AM. The presidential diary for the day meanwhile notes Trump called an “unidentified person” at 11:17 AM on Jan. 6, but the diary fails to mention the 11:20 AM call from his private schedule. And as noted by CNN, neither call was reflected in the White House call log.

McCarthy admitted openly he spoke to Trump on Jan. 6 when he was interviewed by Fox News last April, and he admitted the same to fellow Republican Rep. Jamie Herrera-Beutler months before when Trump was facing impeachment for incitement of insurrection. 

McCarthy said he spoke to Trump in the middle of the afternoon on Jan. 6 as the violence was playing out at the Capitol. The California Republican recalled being under siege and frantically calling Trump for help. He begged the president to “forcefully” call off his supporters. 

But just like the Pence call, there’s no record of the McCarthy call on the official log either. 

RELATED STORY: Kevin ‘Who the F— Do You Think You Are Talking To’ McCarthy may be next on Jan. 6 request list

Trump called Lee during the attack at 2:26 PM, something Lee admitted during Trump’s second impeachment inquiry. Lee said Trump intended to reach Tuberville but dialed the wrong number, so Lee passed his phone off to Tuberville.

When the Alabama senator picked up, he told the president Pence had been removed from Senate chambers just as rioters had stormed the complex.

That call record is missing from the logs, too.

It may seem a small detail now, but as The Guardian has reported, “two sources familiar with the matter” said Lee was called by Trump from a number listed as (202) 395-0000. 

That is a “placeholder number that shows when a call is incoming from a number of White House department phones,” the sources said. 

Since the Lee call is missing from the log, the specter of tampering is now raised. 

An entry not omitted from the logs spurs even more questions: Trump’s 10-minute phone call with Rep. Jim Jordan.

Jordan has been a fierce ally to the ex-president, defending him at every turn and patently refusing to cooperate with the probe. Jordan has also been completely unable or unwilling to keep his story straight about his contact with Trump on the day of the assault.

Last July, when pressed by Fox News host Bret Baier about how many times he spoke to Trump on Jan. 6, Jordan said his chats with Trump happened so often, he couldn’t “remember all the days I talked to the president.”

Within 24 hours Jordan changed his story, this time telling a different reporter he couldn’t recall if he and Trump spoke in the morning or not.

When Jordan appeared for a meeting before the House Rules Committee in October, he told Chairman Jim McGovern he couldn’t recall how many times he spoke to Trump on Jan. 6, but Jordan sputtered: “I talked to the president after the attack.”

According to the traceable call log made public this week, Trump and Jordan spoke for exactly 10 minutes on Jan. 6 starting at 9:24 AM.

If they spoke after the attack, like Jordan said last October, then this particular log does not show it. 

RELATED STORY: White House call log confirms what Jim Jordan couldn’t—or wouldn’t

Assessment of these logs as “complete” may very well be technically accurate if that assessment does not account for the ways Trump bypassed the traceable system or abused procedure. 

The Select Intelligence Committee for the U.S. Senate noted in its 2020 report on Russian interference in the 2016 election that Trump often relied on his bodyguard, Keith Schiller, when he wanted to call Republican operative Roger Stone. Trump, the report stated, would use Schiller’s phone to chat with Stone because he did not want his advisers to know they were speaking.

Sources told the Post and CBS Trump may have used a disposable or “burner” phone on Jan. 6 to evade scrutiny. Trump has denied knowing what a burner phone is, let alone using one.

Yet his former National Security Adviser John Bolton told reporters Trump knows exactly what the devices are, and that would track with reporting by Rolling Stone from November that Team Trump was no stranger to the hard-to-trace devices.

Sources told the magazine that March for Trump and Women for America First organizers used burner phones at length for “crucial planning conversations” about the rally at the Ellipse. The officials, including Kylie and Amy Kremer, allegedly communicated with Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, but also with the president’s son and daughter-in-law, Eric and Lara Trump, on the phones.

In its contempt of Congress report for Meadows, the Jan. 6 committee established there was prevalent use of personal devices and encrypted apps by Meadows in service of the president.  

RELATED STORY: Jan. 6 organizers used burner phones for calls with Mark Meadows, Trump family

So far the committee has interviewed and taken depositions from 800 people, including many of those figures who appeared in the Jan. 6 call logs, like Steve Bannon, John Eastman, and Rudy Giuliani. 

The logs show Trump spoke to Bannon at 8:37 AM on Jan. 6 and then with Giuliani, his attorney, not long after at 8:45 AM. Within 10 minutes, Trump called Meadows and then tried to call Pence. 

Pence was unavailable, so Trump left a message with the vice president’s office.

Bannon reportedly asked Trump if Pence was going to attend a breakfast meeting because the men wanted to get Pence on board with their plan to delay or stop the certification. 

Trump also spoke to Fox News host Sean Hannity and right-wing commentator William Bennett. He called then-Sen. David Perdue of Georgia as well, and he also spoke to Kurt Olsen early that morning. Olsen was a champion of Trump’s bogus election fraud conspiracy theories. 

Then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell got a call from Trump too, as did Sen. Josh Hawley. McConnell told the Post he declined Trump’s call on Jan. 6, and Hawley has said he missed the call altogether and that he never spoke to Trump on Jan. 6. 

Stephen Miller haunts the public call logs too; he and Trump spoke for almost half an hour on Jan. 6 from 9:52 AM to 10:18 AM.

After the seven-hour gap of time where no official calls are recorded on Jan. 6, the next bit of action didn’t occur until 6:54 PM when Trump rang up Dan Scavino, his trusted aide and communications director. Scavino has refused to cooperate with the Jan. 6 probe and, along with trade adviser Peter Navarro, was found in contempt of Congress by the Jan. 6 committee. 

A full vote by the House to find them in contempt will be held on April 4.

Trump White House call record omissions raise eyebrows

As a congressional watchdog calls for a new probe into allegations that former President Donald Trump regularly destroyed presidential records, the Jan. 6 committee has simultaneously discovered on Thursday that a series of critical gaps exist in White House call logs secured from the National Archives. 

First reported by The New York Times, the gaps in the official White House telephone logs from Jan. 6, 2021, are not a complete surprise—Trump was well known to use his private cell phone or his staff’s cell phones when conducting affairs or speaking to aides, legislators, and others.

The Jan. 6 committee has not yet suggested that the omissions in the call logs are the result of any tampering on behalf of the former president. A committee spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment to confirm whether the logs it has received are all of the logs requested are just a portion of those records. 

White House call logs itemize who has telephoned the White House or who called out and will also include, generally, the date, time, and length of a call.

The Jan. 6 committee has received a plethora of documents and testimony already confirming that Trump spoke to several key officials throughout Jan. 6, including one call made to then-Vice President Mike Pence and legislators like Sen. Mike Lee of Utah. 

The call to Lee was meant for Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama. Lee passed his mobile phone to Tuberville and the Alabama lawmaker spoke to Trump for just under 10 minutes. Their discussion unfolded as the president’s supporters were storming the Capitol. 

That entire exchange, however, did not occur on an official White House telephone, making the committee’s findings on Thursday all the more concerning. 

CNN reported that sources who have reviewed a presidential diary from Jan. 6—also obtained by the Archives and shared with the committee—noted that it has “scant information and no record of phone calls for several hours” after Trump returned to the Oval Office up until he recorded a national address in the Rose Garden. 

In addition to calls to Pence and Senator Lee, Trump also had a tense phone call with House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy on Jan. 6.

During Trump’s second impeachment, McCarthy told a fellow Republican lawmaker that when he finally reached Trump by phone during the assault, Trump was insistent that “antifa” had breached the complex.

McCarthy told Trump it was his supporters and Trump hung up in a huff.

Since then, McCarthy has aligned himself completely with the former president, refusing to cooperate with a voluntary request from Jan. 6 investigators issued weeks ago. The probe is now weighing whether to officially subpoena the House leader.

Doing so would be a historic move and an outcome the California Republican has arguably long courted. McCarthy was opposed to the formation of a Jan. 6 commission from the outset unless it promised to review other, unrelated external security threats posed to lawmakers and focused on intelligence failures of the U.S. Capitol Police.

He later refused to negotiate with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi over the committee’s membership. After his proposal to seat two staunch Trump allies on the committee, including Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio—who was, even then, considered to be a potential material witness to the overall probe—McCarthy took his ball and went home.

With negotiations killed, the House went forward and the committee was formed. The House Republican has since regularly opposed the committee’s work and has taken up keen alliances with the uber-conservative, pro-Trump, anti-Jan. 6 investigation House Freedom Caucus.  

Though the gaps in the White House call logs obtained so far may correlate to Trump’s prolific use of unofficial cell phones, sources who reviewed the logs did say Thursday that at least one entry positively confirms Trump attempted to call Pence on the morning of Jan. 6 before the siege.

The official record does not reportedly show Pence answering, and the source said, according to CNN, that there is also no record showing Pence returned Trump’s call. 

Interestingly, Keith Kellogg, Pence’s national security adviser at the time, informed the committee during recent closed-door testimony that Pence and Trump spoke on the phone on Jan. 6 and further, that the president’s daughter and adviser, Ivanka Trump, witnessed the call. 

This was the call in which Trump pressured Pence to stop or delay the certification. If the White House call records obtained Thursday show that a call was made to Pence but Pence did not pick up, then Kellogg’s testimony would seem to suggest that the pressure call to the vice president happened on another phone, and not an official White House telephone. 

Like the select committee, the Archives did not immediately return request for comment Thursday about whether all of the White House call logs have been remitted to the panel in full or if others are still on the way. 

The Jan. 6 committee has issued sweeping orders to telecommunications companies, including Verizon and T-Mobile, for the phone records of other Trump White House officials, family members, and orbiters. More than 100 people have been part of those requests; the companies have largely cooperated thus far, according to court records. 

Select committee chairman Bennie Thompson has aired his concerns about Trump’s prolific unofficial cell phone use in the past. 

Norm Eisen, a legal analyst for CNN, said Thursday that the gap of records in the White House call logs and related diaries “raises a set of very serious concerns, including questions of whether there was an intentional effort to circumvent the usual system and, if so, who directed it and for what purpose.” 

Trump’s ex-press secretary produces text messages for Jan. 6 investigators

Once former President Donald Trump’s formal mouthpiece for 2020 election misinformation, former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany has since cooperated with the Jan. 6 probe, turning over text messages to investigators more than two months after her initial subpoena. 

Some of those text messages have been public for weeks. Back on Jan. 20, when the committee first issued a request the voluntary compliance of Ivanka Trump (the former president’s daughter and onetime adviser has avoided a formal subpoena for now), McEnany’s messages with Fox News host Sean Hannity were uncovered.  

Hannity and McEnany discussed, at least in part, a strategy to handle an unhinged Trump after the insurrection. The commentator told the White House press secretary in one exchange there could be “no more stolen election talk” after the deadly attack.

Hannity then followed that point up with another: “Yes, impeachment and 25th amendment are real and many people will quit,” Hannity wrote.

“Love that. Thank you. That is the playbook. I will help reinforce,” McEnany replied. 

On Tuesday, ABC News reported that sources familiar with the Jan. 6 probe confirmed those text messages were merely part of McEnany’s larger production of records for investigators.

The committee has been on a hot streak of late, securing one win for transparency after another. The Supreme Court recently shot down Trump’s bid to hide over 700 pages of presidential records related to the attack and his attempts to overturn the 2020 election. 

And in federal court, John Eastman, a key Trump world figure and author of legal memos laying out a strategy for former Vice President Mike Pence to keep Trump in power, has been striking out with his attempt to keep records away from scrutiny. 

A judge recently ordered Eastman to produce emails from his time at Chapman University to Jan. 6 investigators. Prosecutors claim he is attempting to slow-walk that production, but as of Monday, a judge ordered Eastman to narrow his review of some 19,000 relevant emails to just those records sent between Jan. 4, 2021 through Jan. 7, 2021. That doesn’t take all other records off the table, but it will help expedite the investigation. 

As for McEnany, who sat for deposition earlier this month, it is also now likely that the panel has received pages from a binder she kept as press secretary.

In its presidential records requests, the committee noted to the National Archives and Records Administration last fall that there were several pages from McEnany’s binder related to the Trump campaign’s allegations of voter fraud. 

The committee informed McEnany in its original subpoena that it was also interested in public statements and remarks she made spreading misinformation about the 2020 election results. 

Kayleigh McEnany Subpoena N... by Daily Kos

McEnany was also with Trump when he traveled to the Ellipse on Jan. 6 and delivered his speech inciting the attack. There have been reports that she also “popped in and out” to join Trump as he idly watched the assault from his perch in the White House. 

Jan. 6 Committee requests critical meeting with Ivanka Trump

Ivanka Trump, who once addressed the mob storming the U.S. Capitol as “American patriots” on Twitter before swiftly deleting the post—has been requested to voluntarily cooperate with the Jan. 6 Committee’s investigation. 

In a letter to the former president’s daughter and onetime advisor, committee chairman Bennie Thompson said the panel confirmed from Keith Kellogg, former Vice President Mike Pence’s national security adviser, that Ivanka was present when Trump called Pence on Jan. 6 and pressured him to throw the election so he could remain in power. 

Ivanka heard just one side of that phone call, the committee acknowledged, but between that and the testimony and records already provided to the committee, Ivanka appears to have been so up close and personal with her father on Jan. 6, that she could have unparalleled information about his exact mindset that day. 

Letter Requesting Voluntary... by Daily Kos

Kellogg, according to the committee, told investigators that when Trump was getting ready to end the call with Pence on Jan. 6, Ivanka turned to Kellogg and remarked: “Mike Pence is a good man.” 

In addition, the committee also requested that the former president’s daughter offer details she may have about other discussions she witnessed, particularly those involving Trump’s plans to obstruct or impede the physical counting of electoral votes on Jan. 6. 

“White House counsel may have concluded that the actions President Trump directed Vice President Pence to take would violate the Constitution or otherwise be illegal. Did you discuss those issues with any member of the White House Counsel’s office?” the committee asked Thursday.

The committee also noted that just before the Capitol attack, a “member of the House Freedom Caucus with knowledge of President’s planning for that day” sent a message to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows saying if Trump allowed the counting of votes—in other words, a critical part of the transition of power from one administration to the next—then “we’re driving a stake in the heart of the federal republic.” 

Ivanka was also allegedly called on multiple times during the melee to wrangle her father. The committee noted media reports about Senator Lindsey Graham who called her at least once during the riot and pleaded with her to have Trump issue a statement.  

Kellogg said he urged Trump to act with haste but Trump’s obstinance was so severe that, according to another interview conducted by the committee, staffers recognized it might only be Ivanka who could persuade him to act. 

In a brief transcript that accompanied the request to Ivanka, that deposition was laid out:

 

Q: Did you think that she [Ivanka Trump] could help get him [President Trump] to a place where he would make a statement to try and stop this?
A: Yes. 
Q: So you thought that Ivanka could get her father to do something about it?
A: To take a course of action. 
Q: He didn’t say yes to Mark Meadows or Kayleigh McEnany or Keith Kellogg but he might say yes to his daughter?
A: Exactly right. 

Evidence already obtained by the committee has shown many Trump administration officials and other hangers-on were in frantic contact with the White House as the riot exploded, calling on Trump to act. Those individuals reportedly include Donald Trump Jr., Fox News hosts Laura Ingraham, Brian Kilmeade, and Sean Hannity, as well as “multiple members of Congress and the press, Governor Chris Christie and many others.” 

In a text exchange from someone “outside of the White House,” an individual asked a White House staff member: “Is someone getting to POTUS? He has to tell protesters to dissipate. Someone is going to get killed.” 

The response was chilling. 

“I’ve been trying for the last 30 minutes. Literally stormed in outer oval to get him to put out the first one. It’s completely insane.” 

The committee said Thursday this dynamic was of particular interest. 

“Why didn’t White House staff simply ask the President to walk to the briefing room and appear on live television to ask the crowd to leave the Capitol?” the letter noted. “General Kellogg testified he “very strongly recommended they do not” ask the president to appear immediately from the press room because press conferences tend to get out of control and you want to control the message. Apparently, certain White House staff believed that a live unscripted press appearance by the president in the middle of the Capitol Hill violence could have made the situation worse.” 

By the time Trump finally released a video message that was filmed in the Rose Garden asking the mob to disperse—while also telling them he “loved” them and they were “very special”—Ivanka had already been pleading with her father for two hours. 

The committee has been informed that multiple unused clips from Trump’s speech exist in the National Archives and were part of the presidential records transfer that Trump attempted to block. 

Beyond the phone call with Pence, the committee also asked Ivanka to disclose any information she might have about the delayed response for backup to beleaguered U.S. Capitol and Metropolitan Police Department officers. 

Then acting Defense Department secretary Chris Miller testified under oath that former President Trump never contacted him at any time on Jan. 6 and never, again, at any time, issued him any orders to deploy the National Guard. 

“The committee has identified no evidence that President Trump issued any order, or took any other action, to deploy the guard that day. Nor does it appear that President Trump made any calls to the Department of Justice or any other law enforcement agency to request deployment of their personnel to the Capitol,” Thompson wrote. 

Ivanka could also have insights into how Trump behaved after the insurrection.

Texts from Sean Hannity to Mark Meadows and former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, for example, showed how Trump was being urged to drop the election fraud talking point. 

On Jan. 7, Hannity messaged McEnany and provided her with a strategy to deal with Trump:

“1. No more stolen election talk

2. Yes, impeachment and 25th amendment are real and many people will quit...”

McEnany responded: “Love that. That is the playbook. I will help reinforce...” 

She also agreed with him when the right wing pundit told her it was “key” that Trump stop entertaining “crazy people.” 

“Yes 100%,” McEnany replied. 

Any correspondence or other records that Ivanka might have produced in her capacity as a former advisor to the president is required, under the Presidential Records Act, to be preserved and remitted to the National Archives. 

In a particularly pointed portion of the request to Ivanka Trump, the committee attached a 2017 memorandum from former White House counsel Don McGahn where the former White House counsel had once outlined the legal requirements for records preservation for White House staff. 

McGahn was a key figure in the Mueller investigation of interference in the 2016 election and was instructed by Trump not to comply with a subpoena from the House Judiciary Committee. 

The committee has proposed a meeting with Ivanka Trump for Feb. 3 or Feb. 4.

 The former president’s daughter and adviser released a statement through a spokesperson Thursday saying “as the committee already knows, Ivanka did not speak at the January 6 ally.”

The spokesperson continued: “As she publicly stated that day at 3:15 PM, ‘any security beach or disrespect to our law enforcement is unacceptable. The violence must stop immediately. Please be peaceful.” 

Notably, her spokesperson did not include the “American Patriots” salutation Ivanka put at the very top of that same statement from just after 3 p.m. on Jan. 6. 

Ivanka Trump sent this tweet just after 3pm during the January 6th attack, and left it up for about half an hour before deleting it. In real time that's when Officer Fanone was dragged out into the crowd and tazed and Officer Hodges was crushed in the doorway https://t.co/h6liZjlCHf

— Aaron Fritschner (@Fritschner) January 20, 2022

Trump’s White House is finally preparing for something: Beating back oversight of coronavirus relief

Coronavirus is going to give the Trump White House another opportunity to put into play the obstruction tactics it honed during the impeachment inquiry. There’s $2 trillion in economic stimulus, including a $500 billion relief fund for businesses, about which Trump told reporters “Look, I’ll be the oversight. I’ll be the oversight.” Which, no.

Trump then nominated a White House lawyer, i.e. someone who’s been selected for loyalty to Trump, as special inspector general for pandemic recovery. Brian Miller helped obstruct investigations into Trump’s extortion of Ukraine, and now Trump wants him to do the same for investigations into pandemic recovery funds, in the guise of an inspector general—someone who’s supposed to exercise oversight rather than defend against it.

House Democrats have already started asking for documents relating to Jared Kushner’s work on supply chains for personal protective equipment and ventilators. “We are troubled by reports that Mr. Kushner’s actions—and those of outside advisers he has assembled and tasked—may be ‘circumventing protocols that ensure all states’ requests are handled appropriately,’” Reps. Bennie Thompson and Carolyn Maloney wrote. “We are particularly troubled that Mr. Kushner’s work may even involve ‘directing FEMA and HHS officials to prioritize specific requests from people who are able to get Kushner on the phone.’”

But while the Trump White House wasn’t prepared to fight coronavirus, it’s certainly prepared to fight attempts at congressional oversight, including subpoenas.

Much of the House oversight will be run through a special select committee Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced last week, to be headed by Rep. Jim Clyburn. Expect it to involve a series of protracted legal battles as White House lawyers move to block any and all information. Can’t have the peons knowing what Prince Jared’s been doing, after all. Let alone the would-be king, Donald.

Stephanie Grisham out as White House press secretary. Don’t feel bad if you’re asking ‘who?’

Consider it the political version of “if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, did it really make a sound?” If a White House press secretary never gives a press briefing, did she really do the job? Yes, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham is on her way out—or anyway, she’s headed back to the East Wing to serve as Melania Trump’s chief of staff.

As White House press secretary, Grisham spent her time going on Fox News or media outlets to the right of Fox. She put her name on statements claiming that impeachment was derailing legislative progress (when really Mitch McConnell’s Senate was derailing legislative progress) and calling for "retribution" against Rep. Adam Schiff. She was forced to backtrack after claiming that Obama aides left mean notes for the incoming Trump administration. She claimed that Donald Trump doesn't tell lies.

Grisham’s qualifications for the job included a history of retaliating against reporters for negative coverage and having lost previous jobs for plagiarism and cheating on expense reports.

Grisham is reportedly leaving the job as part of a shake-up by new White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. Names being floated to replace her include campaign spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany; Defense Department spokeswoman Alyssa Farah may also be in line for a communications role. Except it’s not clear if the White House communications department will regain any relevance with Trump still taking the role of head spokesman and changing message on a whim.

White House halts participation in congressional coronavirus hearings

The White House has told Congress that it's simply too busy to spare the time to testify at any coronavirus hearings, at least until the end of March, according to Roll Call. “While the Trump Administration continues its whole-of-government approach to stopping the spread of COVID-19, it is counter-productive to have the very individuals involved in response efforts appearing at congressional hearings,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement Wednesday. 

Apparently, "whole-of-government" doesn't include Congress in the view of the White House. The blackout approach to information sharing with Congress was outlined in a memo obtained by Roll Call. “We remain respectful of the essential role of Congress in this effort and we look forward to working with Congress closely as we all rise to meet this challenge,” the memo read.

Frankly, it's hard to believe anyone in the West Wing even bothered to write that line. The Trump administration has made it crystal clear that it views Congress's "essential role" as entirely subservient to that of the executive branch. In everything from basic congressional oversight to the impeachment inquiry to the most threatening public health epidemic in a century, the Trump administration has spiked cooperating with Congress at every turn. 

The only difference this time around is that the White House isn't exclusively stiff-arming House Democrats. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee was forced to cancel a hearing Wednesday that lawmakers had arranged to livestream publicly. Lawmakers had lined up witnesses from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and the Food and Drug Administration.

That hearing has been postponed indefinitely while the White House continues the "whole-of-government" response it adopted several days ago after Donald Trump finally realized his delusional world was no match for a highly contagious virus that threatens to kill nearly 1% of the people who get it or more, depending on available care for the most critical cases.

White House reportedly issues ‘formal threat’ to block John Bolton from publishing book

The Trump White House is trying to stop former national security adviser John Bolton’s book from being published, CNN is reporting. The “formal threat” comes in the form of a letter, CNN’s sources say, but none of the parties involved—the White House, Bolton himself, or his publisher, Simon & Schuster—commented.

As Karen Tumulty tweeted, get ready for the advertising campaign dubbing this “the book the White House doesn’t want you to read,” but what the United States needs is not Bolton’s book, it’s Bolton’s testimony.

Bolton is a warmonger with blood on his hands and decades of faithful service to the Republican cause. But here, he has information the country needs to hear, not by giving him money for a book but under oath in the impeachment trial. The White House threat is not, most likely, about the book itself, either. It’s about sending a message to Republican senators not to vote to hear him, and to make regular people think of him as tainted.

The White House needs to discredit Bolton somehow, with polls showing big majorities in support of witnesses at the impeachment trial. Putting a cloud over him separate from the Senate vote on witnesses is the first move. There will be more—but all the people watching the White House campaign against Bolton need to remember that it’s not about him. It’s about what he witnessed Donald Trump saying and doing during his time as Trump’s close adviser.

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